Shinji Mitarai: Burn the House Down character explained

Shinji Mitarai is Makiko’s younger son in Burn the House Down. Like his mother, Shinji also has a secret of his own. Taishi Nakagawa plays the role of Shinji. 

Makiko married Osamu and moved into his house with her sons. Kiichi, the elder son, was smart, but he turned into a recluse when the news of his backdoor college admission got out. 

Due to this, Makiko pushed Shinji, her absent-minded younger son who played video games all day, to study harder and prepare to take over Osamu’s position at the Mitarai Hospital. 

Shinji works himself into the ground because he does not want to be ashamed when he meets the people who lived in the Mitarai house before his mother married Osamu.

A lonely existence

Shinji is never appreciated by his mother, yet he keeps pushing himself to work hard and get better grades. He tries to fulfill the duty that his elder brother could not fulfill and does not want to take Osamu’s money.

Makiko tries to control all his actions and treats him like a plaything. Apart from that, Shinji does not even have real friends. He is popular among girls at school only because his stepfather is a rich man and everyone knows that Shinji is his heir.

When Shinji is surrounded by people who do not see him for what he is, he meets Yuzu after years. He recognizes her, and she stays to talk to him because she hopes to find out something useful about his mother.

Burn the House Down Shinji
Shinji runs into Yuzu

Shinji starts liking her and even takes her to reunite with her father. Soon, Makiko tells him that Yuzu was taking advantage of him to get back at her and asks him to stay away from Yuzu. An upset Shinji realizes that Yuzu was also not interested in him.

Shinji’s secret

Shinji runs into Yuzu again and leaves his date to speak to her. Yuzu takes him to meet her mother, Satsuki, who has lost her memories, and Shinji is left shaken after seeing her condition.

He tells Yuzu that when he was a child, he used to sneak out of school quite often. Satsuki found out about this and invited him to her house. When Shinji told her that he has difficulty speaking to other children, she assured him that he was not alone.

She asked him to come to her house and meet her whenever he feels like talking to her, and Shinji visited her quite often. Yuzu likes Shinji, but she is forced to push him away because of Makiko.

He feels obligated to be a good son and take responsibility for the family because he believes that he was given a life that was too good for him. When Makiko’s lies are exposed and the Mitarais receive a lot of hate, Shinji continues to be a responsible son and look after everyone.

It turns out that Shinji’s behavior has a lot to do with the guilt that has been burdening him for years. 13 years ago, on the day the Mitarai house caught fire, Shinji had gone there to return Satsuki’s cardigan that he found at his house.

There was food in the kitchen, and Shinji wanted to eat it. While heating the food, he ended up starting a fire. He got scared and ran away with the cardigan that he had come to return. 

Shinji thought someone would notice that the house was on fire and come to take care of it, but no one came. Additionally, it was Satsuki who ended up taking the fall. Her husband divorced her, and she lost all her memories because she blamed herself for everything.

The truth comes out

As soon as Shinji became a Mitarai, he worked hard to atone for his sins and make things right not just for his family but for Satsuki’s family as well. Shinji never tells anyone about this, even when Kiichi takes the blame for him. 

He finally confesses the truth when Makiko accidentally starts a fire and he can no longer keep the secret. He apologizes to Yuzu and Anzu, who ask him to apologize to their mother.

Burn the House Down Shinji
Shinji confesses that he started the fire

Shinji apologizes to Satsuki on his knees, and she forgives him because she does not wish to hold a grudge against him. She tells him that he will always be in her heart and thoughts, irrespective of what other people say.

Shinji also apologizes to Kiichi, who asks him not to give up on being a good person. As Shinji was under the age of 14 at the time of the incident, he is not held criminally responsible.

He takes Kiichi’s advice and does not give up. He goes to Osamu and tells him that he wants to work at Mitarai Hospital. Ichihara asks Shinji to return to school to complete his medical degree and then come to work at the hospital, and Osamu does not object.

On top of that, he does not lose Yuzu’s support, who wishes for him to become a good doctor. Like everyone else, Shinji also gets another chance to live his life differently. 

Also Read: Makiko Mitarai: Burn the House Down character explained

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